HHAP EP. 63: Gigi Lamayne on Representation & Dismantling Respectability Politics

This is the first in a special series of episodes being recorded lives with African Studies students at Howard University and George Washington University. The series is co-hosted with Words Beas & Life, who is also live-streaming the episodes on their Facebook page (facebok.com/wordsbeatslife) on Wednesday nights at 5pm EST. The schedule is on our website at hiphopafrican.com.

A part of the “born free” generation, Gigi Lamayne grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa after the fall of apartheid. She graduated from Wits University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media and Anthropology in the midst of the #FeesMustFall movement. Rapping since high school, she released the powerful track “Fees Will Fall” just months after graduation. Considered one of South Africa’s best lyricists, her music addresses topics like Black pride, gender-based violence, feminism, sexism, and the shadiness within the music industry. We first interviewed Gigi Lamayne in 2017. She has continued to find mainstream success while addressing serious topics in some of her songs. In the conversation, she talks about her career, her views on the resilience and activism of South African women, race in South Africa, the relationships between women in the industry, and the stigmas and views around mental health in Africa.

The video version of this and other episodes are on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC43HnRR6MNq5DePBVKZZ7LQ

Links
https://www.gigilamayne.co.za/
https://www.facebook.com/Queen.Gigi.LaMayne
https://www.instagram.com/gigi_lamayne
https://www.twitter.com/gigi_lamayne
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRvC54bgRUtn48RbCvuZJZA
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/gigi-lamayne/1455356528?ign-gact=3&ls=1
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3405LTbL2jP8J0gVQK3087?autoplay=true

HHAP Episode 7: Gigi Lamayne on Feminism & Politics in South Africa

Gigi Lamayne is part of a recent growth of female MCs in South Africa. Based in Johannesburg, her strong vocal presence and lyrical style are unmistakably hip hop. She also presents a strong, confident feminist energy in hip hop’s hypermasucline culture. A member of South Africa’s “born free” generation, Gigi Lamayne started MCing as a teenager. There has been a noticeable growth in her lyrics over the years, and Gigi Lamayne is now one of the most well known female MCs in South Africa.

Confrontations of sexism, patriarchy, domestic violence, and post-apartheid politics are themes throughout her music. In this conversation Gigi Lamayne talks about her music and influences, and her decision to address controversial, sensitive topics.

Her most recent release, Ground Zero, can be found on iTunes and other online outlets.

Table of Contents

Intro to themes in her music, including clips from some of her songs: 1:03

Interview: 13:17

Feminism: 19:45

Miss Nthabi & collaborations with other MCs 23:44

(Miss Nthabi is an earlier South African MC who offers words of advice on being a female MC in the intro to Gigi Lamayne’s Ground Zero)
Emotional domestic violence 29:49

Fees Will Fall: 33:29

Language: 40:28

Find Gigi Lamayne Online Facebook | Instagram: gigi_lamayne | SoundCloud | YouTube | Twitter: gigi_lamayne

Articles

Okay Africa: Women In South African Hip-Hop
LiveMag: 10 notable South African female rappers of all time
GQ South Africa: 5 of SA’s hottest female rappers

HHAP Episode 5: Black Activism in the US & South Africa

This is a special episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast. This episode is an airing of an event we sponsored: #BlackLivesMatter and #FeesMustFall: A Panel Discussion on Black Activism in the US and South Africa held on the 29th of November at Howard University in Washington, DC.

The event brought together activists for a discussion on two pivotal movements for Black lives in the U.S. and South Africa: Black Lives Matter in the U.S. and #FeesMustFall/#RhodesMustFall in South Africa. Both movements are changing dialogues around race, gender, class, violence, and oppression.

The panelists were:

Dr. Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan African Studies at California State University Los Angeles and national organizer with #BlackLivesMatter.

Kealeboga Mase Ramaru, an organizer with #RhodesMustFall at the University of Cape Town and the Deputy Head for the Western Cape office at Equal Education.

Nana Afua Y. Brantuo, a 2016 fellow with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and a mindfulness coach for Black Girl Brilliance.

Song List

“Must Fall” by Java, Emile YX?, Linkris The Genius, Black Athena, Daddy Spencer, Crosby, and Khusta

“Fees Will Fall” by Gigi Lamayne

Article “Songs of Black Lives Matter: 22 New Protest Anthems” in Rolling Stone Magazine